News Column

Powerball: Bet on Jackpot to Beat $425 Million

Nov. 26, 2012

Peter Mucha

Odds are the next set of Powerball winners will collect a lot more moolah than the current advertised record jackpots.

The official estimates: $425 million for the annuity, $278.3 million for the cash. Both are Powerball records.

The annuity jackpot jumped by another record, $100 million, when no one hit all the numbers drawn Saturday night: 22, 32, 37, 44 and 50, with a Powerball of 34.

Before the dust settles, though, gigantic jackpots usually wind up sweetened by many millions.

The bigger the jackpot, the more likely this will happen.

In August, a Powerball jackpot advertised at $320 million wound up landing at $337 million. The cash -- which the Michigan winner chose -- rose from $213.3 million to $224.6 million.

In February, a Powerball jackpot touted as $310 million wound up paying $336.4 million.

But what happened in March with Mega Millions was far more mind-boggling.

The annuity jackpot rolled over to $500 million for the March 30 drawing -- a staggering jump of $144 million from the previous drawing.

But that half-billion completely underestimated the ensuing buying frenzy. Before the drawing, the jackpot was revised three times, to a staggering $640 million.

And when it came time to pay the three winners -- in Maryland, Illinois and Kansas -- the actual amount was put at $656 million.

That's $156 million more than the original estimate.

In just a few days.

That was the only jackpot bigger than this Powerball prize.

So, stay tuned. It could be a crazy couple of days.

If no one hits Wednesday night, it will be a crazy week, perhaps with jackpot figures never seen before.

Folks nationwide might be asking about a funny smell -- and find out it's smoke coming from countless constantly cranking lottery machines.



Source: (c)2012 The Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by MCT Information Services


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